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Guardiola promises Aguero start against Barcelona

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed Sergio Aguero will start against Barcelona on Tuesday after the forward's first-half brace sparked a return to winning ways in the 4-0 victory at West Brom.

City were winless in six matches across all competitions heading into the match at The Hawthorns, with Aguero goalless over the same period.

The Argentina star was surprisingly left on the bench for the 4-0 reverse at Camp Nou earlier this month but Guardiola told BBC Radio 5Live his top scorer would be in place to try to enact revenge this week.

He praised Aguero's overall performance and character, with the 28-year-old now on 149 goals for City – up to sixth on the club's all-time list.

"We need Sergio," Guardiola said. "We know how important he is for us and how important he is for this club.

"He is part of the history of this club. I would like to help him. Still he can write the most brilliant images for himself in this club.

"He is one of the best. I am going to help him to be much, much better.

"That is my target, so that every game he feels how important he is. I'm so, so happy for him because with all of that he is one of the nicest people I have met."

City were forced to overcome a spell of second-half pressure before Ilkay Gundogan's late double made sure of the points and Guardiola conceded their six-game slump has caused belief to waver – although not with regard to his playing style.

"When we lose there are always doubts," he added. "Also in the second half I had doubts when we didn't play too well.

"I had doubts and saw what we had to improve. It's the first time I have not won in six games.

"Always you have doubts [but] not over the principles."  

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